In the words of Bob Dylan, “Times they are a changin’” and nowhere is this more evident than the workplace. Employees are more mobile than ever and technology has made this an increasingly effective alternative for employees and managers alike. The number of virtual workers has risen 115% in the last decade according to a 2017 report from Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs.
Working remotely is good for businesses and employees: businesses can cultivate the best talent by hiring outside their office location and employees who telecommute report lower stress levels and higher productivity.
But even businesses with great culture in their offices can face challenges in providing that same awesome work culture outside their walls. Management of remote workers is different as well. Fortunately, with the right tools and best practices, HR leaders can engage and motivate their remote employees even if they are thousands of miles away.
Communicate. Tap into emerging communication tools that make those coworkers feel like they are next door, not several states away. Keep up face to face meetings with video conferencing, use the Cloud to collaborate on projects, and involve all in making decisions that directly affect them so there is buy-in.
Create a purposeful culture. Offer opportunities for employee engagement outside of the conference room!
Fine Point uses a software tool called TINYpulse to encourage all employees to praise one another, give opportunities for feedback and improvement and participate in developing that culture.
Clear expectations. Set clear expectations for remote employees and communicate often about how those are being met. At Fine Point Consulting, we utilize what we call a “Results” document, where both the employee and the direct supervisor comment on how well the employee is doing in the various parts of the job. This results document is completed by each employee, reviewed and updated each month. We also utilize weekly one to one meetings. We present multiple ways for the employee and manager to communicate needs and this has been effective.
Camaraderie. One of the Fine Point Consulting Core Values is “We work hard and play hard.” Having fun is an important part of our company culture! One of the ways we do this is by using a cloud-based collaboration tool called Slack. While this is definitely also used for a lot of work-related messaging and collaboration with clients as well, it has some great features for developing that camaraderie. We share jokes, funny stories and many, many giphys. Humor is a wonderful part of our company culture and Slack really helps bring that to remote employees.
Does your business need help in developing a remote working policy? Fine Point Consulting’s HR Practice Leader Lisa Wilke can help! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for any HR needs.